Quebec: Adopted children want to find their biological parents.

Quebec adoptees turning to social media to find information about their origins

Julie Levenhagen as Baby AgatheJulie Levenhagen is shown as a baby in this undated handout photo. Levenhagen was known only as ‘Baby Agathe’ when she was adopted from a Montreal hospital at nine days old. Now some 34 years later, frustrated with her attempts to learn about her parentage, Levenhagen went to Facebook with the little information she knows. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Handout / Julie Levenhagen

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, November 7, 2015 2:21PM EST

MONTREAL — Julie Levenhagen was known only as “baby Agathe” when she was adopted from a Montreal hospital at nine days old.

Now, some 34 years later, and frustrated with her attempts to learn about her parentage, Levenhagen has taken to Facebook with the little information she knows: she was born July 26, 1981 at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital to a 22-year-old nursing assistant mother with six siblings, and a 32-year-old electrician father.

Because adoption records in Quebec are confidential, that “non-identifying” information in her file is all that Levenhagen is entitled to under the province’s laws — unless her biological parents can be found and agree to be identified.

“It’s really frustrating because a lot of us adoptees feel that it’s our right to know where we come from,” Levenhagen said. “It’s an innate human need.”

Levenhagen, who now lives in Arizona, filed a request with the youth centre in charge of her file last November. They in turn will try to reach her biological family and see if they consent to open the file.

So far she hasn’t heard anything — not surprising, as the process can take 12 to 18 months. However, if her birth parents have died or can’t be located, she is not entitled to know their names, see her adoption file, or get medical records she says could be pertinent to her health.

“My best-case scenario is that I can reconnect with family, and have more people in my life,” Levenhagen said. “The worst-case is they choose not to reconnect, and if so I’ll understand. But I hope I can at least get medical records, and knowledge as to what diseases, if any, run in my family.”


6 thoughts on “Quebec: Adopted children want to find their biological parents.

    • Of course, she has the right to know. This article proves, once again, that adoptions come with baggage. I am imagining how her adopted parents must feel. She was just… 9 days old, had no memory of anything and these people gave her everything: love, security, a chance. Imagine adopting an older child…
      I guess, somewhere deep down, these kids always feel that they have other parents, that they don’t belong… The most painful case if when they meet their mothers for the first time and “feel a connection” or simply want to live with her.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m Julie Levenhagen, the person featured in this story. Thank you to United In Beauty for posting and thank you to those who have commented. My parents are pretty awesome and totally support my search. It is an unusual thing to have gnawing at you, the need to surround yourself with those you are biologically connected to. Blood is not everything, but it certainly is more important that I expected. Adoption is an amazing thing, but it most definitely comes with complex baggage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie,
      I am very happy that you contacted UIB. Would you be interested in doing an interview? I am sure that many people would be interested in learning more about your story.
      The fact that your parents are so supportive proves, once again, that they are amazing. You are lucky to have them:)
      Adoption has been trivialized in the past years, thanks to “trends” among movie stars,etc. It is more complex than what some may think.
      Best of luck, Julie:)


      • I would love to do an interview! My email is (editor’s note: e-mail address removed for security purposes).
        And I couldn’t agree more about the trivializing of adoption in recent years (although any awareness is good, I suppose). There’s also a huge focus on international adoption, which is great, but at the detriment of domestic adoption.
        Thanks again 🙂


  2. My new book called “Separated Lives” is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy. Years later I take him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA), Barnes & Noble and

    Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

    Liked by 1 person

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